- The EU formally accused Apple of unfairly squeezing out music streaming rivals through its App Store in one of the biggest-ever competition cases to hit the iPhone maker.
- The charge sheet lands as Apple faces a rebellion from firms that want to break free of the global Apple App Store's strict terms and fees.
- The EU is currently preparing an ambitious law, known as the Digital Market Act, that will set up special rules for gatekeepers and protect consumers, companies and potential rivals from their overwhelming market power.
"By setting strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition," EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
The other cases focus on the Apple Pay system as well as the company's eBooks offering.
At the heart of the cases is Apple's role as an internet gatekeeper, in which other developers, startups and rivals have no other choice than to meet the company's demands in order to reach hundreds of millions of consumers.
Apple was not available immediately for comment, but in a 2019 statement it said the accusations were unfounded since its App Store helped Spotify become Europe's largest music streaming service.
That decision was overturned by an EU court, but the European Commission filed an appeal after the setback.